Illinois Native State Flower
Adoption of the Illinois Native State Flower
The 1893 World Exposition, held in Chicago, is credited with sparking a nationwide interest in the adoption of flowers to represent a state. That year, the purple iris was one of the suggestions fielded to represent Illinois. It was never officially adopted however.
In 1907, at the suggestion of Mrs. James C. Fessler of Rochelle, who had launched a statewide campaign to adopt a state flower, the choice of a state flower and a state tree was put to a vote of Illinois schoolchildren. The wild rose gave the violet a run for its money, but the goldenrod never had a chance. State officials watched closely as over 33,500 votes were cast for three flowers; the goldenrod, the wild rose and the violet. The violet won the contest by accumulating almost 4,000 more votes than the second-place wild rose.
As a result of the contest, Senator Andrew J. Jackson of Rockford sponsored a bill in the Illinois Legislature to make the violet the official flower of the state. On January 21, 1908 the native violet was approved as the official state flower of the State of Illinois.
The legislation did not specify a specific variety of violet but, according to the Illinois State Museum, the dooryard or common violet (Viola sororia) is the most common species in the state and was probably the intended "native violet" of Senator Jackson's Bill. In State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols (1939), Shankle suggested
The Illinois Compiled Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Government, Chapter 5, State Designations Act, Section 40.
Viola sororia (Violet): Plant Encyclopedia from MyGardenGuide.
Plant Profile for Viola sororia (Common Blue Violet): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.
U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.
Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqué, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.
Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.
Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source: The Illinios General Assembly, (http://www.ilga.gov/), June 18, 2005
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